There aren’t many obvious “must-haves” in our top Week 6 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds, but there is at least one big one: Giants handcuff RB Devontae Booker. Unfortunately, Saquon Barkley suffered a nasty ankle injury, so Booker will be command a top waivers claim, especially with the byes arriving this week. Barkley wasn’t the only starting running back who exited a game early, as Patriots’ bruiser Damien Harris (chest) also got dinged up. That potentially paves the way for rookie sleeper Rhamondre Stevenson to finally get his shot, too. He joins the likes of Booker, Kadarius Toney, David Njoku, and Hunter Henry as a projected top add this week. (Update: And Darrel Williams after Clyde Edwards-Helaire injured his knee on Sunday night.)
Our full free agent list features a bunch of depth options, including AJ Dillon, Samaje Perine, Khalil Herbert, Marquez Callaway, and Ricky Seals-Jones. Of course, with the byes here, streamers will be of the utmost importance, and we have plenty of Week 6-specific suggestions QB, WR, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list.
MORE WEEK 6: Full waiver list
Booker will definitely command a top claim, as the initial read on Barkley is that he’ll miss multiple weeks. Depending on the prognosis for Harris, Stevenson might also command a high-to-mid-tier waiver claim. (Update: The same goes for Darrel Williams.) Other than that, though, you’re probably better off holding onto your waiver position. Toney probably won’t make it to free agency, but it’s tough to say he’s worth a top-five claim, as he figures to see a decline in production when New York’s WR corps gets healthy
Whether to use a claim this week might come down to your record and desperation at a certain position. It might feel wasteful to use a top-five claim on someone like Njoku or Hunter Henry, but if you’re in dire straights at TE for whatever reason, they might be worth it. Chances are, you can get one of them as an FA if they haven’t already been picked up in your league, but you never know when other TE-needy owners are also eying them. Of course, if there are multiple TEs you think are worthwhile, then there’s no need to burn the claim. It’s all about doing the research and weighing your options. There will be more injuries going forward, so having a high claim will come in handy at some point.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 6
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Devontae Booker, RB, Giants. Saquon Barkley made it through the first four weeks and looked to be getting stronger, but the injury bug so many fantasy owners were worried about in the preseason reared its ugly head in Week 5. Barkley had his ankle rolled up on against the Cowboys. It immediately swelled to a nasty level and he was carted off. It’s unclear what Barkley’s long-term diagnosis is, but grabbing Booker is a must. He figures to be the starter for the foreseeable future, and while he’s not exactly a high-upside guy, he showed his value with 19 touches, 58 total yards, and two TDs against the Cowboys. Every back has value with decent volume, and with the byes coming up, someone like Booker will be a flex consideration most weeks. His next two matchups against the Rams and Panthers aren’t great, but he could really break out in Week 8 against the Chiefs.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots. It was only a matter of time before Stevenson got a chance in a New England, and with Damien Harris losing another key fumble on the goal line and hurting his chest, it appears that time is now. Stevenson’s final numbers against the Texans weren’t anything special (nine carries, 23 yards), but he broke several tackles on a TD run that was ultimately called back. More important, if Harris misses time because of the injury or because he’s in Bill Belichick’s doghouse, Stevenson will be the leader in the backfield by default. He’s at least worth adding on that chance, especially with a matchup against Dallas upcoming.
Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire knocked out of Sunday night’s game with a painful-looking knee injury, Williams is in position to take over as Kansas City’s primary RB. He’s a capable runner and pass-catcher, so he should get around 15 touches next week against Washington’s vulnerable defense. That’s enough to make him a low-end RB2/high-end flex. Jerick McKinnon could also have some value in PPR leagues, but Williams is the top guy to own.
MORE WEEK 6: Full waiver list
Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants. Toney has starred in the absence of Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring), and he saw even more targets in Week 5 when Kenny Golladay (knee) exited early. Toney finished the day with 10 catches (13 targets) for 189 yards. He also attempted a pass and and had a carry inside the 10 on a wildcat snap. It’s unclear when New York’s WR corps will be healthy, but Toney has shown enough to deserve more playing time when everyone is back. Even next week against the Rams, he’ll have flex value.
David Njoku, TE, Browns. Njoku had a good Week 1 (three catches, 76 yards), then mostly disappeared for the next three games. He showed up in a big way against the Chargers in Week 5, catching all seven targets for 149 yards and a touchdown. It’s tough to get overly excited about someone like Njoku, even after a game like that, but it’s clear he has major upside in any given game. At TE, that has value. so Njoku is worth a free agent pickup. He’ll get the Cardinals, one of the top TE defenses in the league, in Week 6.
Marquez Callaway, WR, Saints. Callaway has been a major disappointment this year, but he came up big in a highly favorable matchup in Week 5, catching four-of-eight targets for 85 yards and two TDs. To be fair, one of those touchdowns was a 49-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half, but Callaway was still clearly involved and productive. The Saints have a bye next week, and Michael Thomas (ankle) and Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring) might return in Week 7, both of which would cut into Callaway’s workload, but perhaps he would also see more favorable coverage. Either way, he’s worth adding as a depth piece now that the byes are here.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including additional streaming options at every position, check out our full Week 6 list.